I review the last ten episodes of Supernatural’s first season, covering everything from Scarecrow to Devil’s Trap.
SUPERNATURAL SEASON 1: EPISODES 11-22 – TV REVIEW
This review has been a long time in coming, and the reason for that being was that I literally couldn’t stop watching Supernatural. Seriously, it’s the first show that I’ve watched four episodes of in one day, and has quickly become among my Top 5 favourite shows – it’s even beaten Doctor Who, and it’s just managed to do that in one Season whereas Doctor Who has had Seven. Whilst it may seem slightly formulaic at times, particularly in the earlier episodes – the writers have done their best to try and make it seem as fresh as possible and even though the episode names seem somewhat uninspired, most commonly named after their ‘monster of the week’ formula, for example – you have Scarecrow, and of course you know what the monster will be. The last three episodes that see John Winchester reunite with Sam and Dean are among the strongest of the season and end on a great cliffhanger – which really compels you to get stuck into Season 2, which is what I did, pretty much immediately.
In the second half of Season 1, aside from the finale, Supernatural sticks to its monster-hunting of the week formula that was established in its early episodes, although it does demonstrate a little bit more variety. Hell House for example is probably my favourite episode of the Season, delivering certainly one of the funniest scripts that had me chuckling in a couple of places. The chemistry of course, between Dean and Sam has firmly been established by now, and whilst they sometimes end up making stupid decisions because the plot demands it (such as, in Nightmare, bringing a gun into the same house that contains a teenager who’s on a killing spree), it still provides an entertaining watch.
Probably the weakest episode of the lot was Route 666, which attempted to introduce the issue of Racism to the show, and dealt with a racist spirit driving a truck hunting down African Americans on the road, and prompted Dean to reunite with his first love, Cassie Robinson. Whilst Cassie could have been a strong protagonist and a potential long lasting impact on the show – she felt a little one-dimensional, and fell flat as a character who could have had a greater impact on the series, but like most of the characters that have showed promise or not, she’s quickly removed and never heard from again. Dean and Sam are clearly the only leads that will show up once every episode, so it comes as a breath of fresh air to see them catch up with John Winchester again in the two part finale episode (and Shadow), and other characters that are also particularly interesting that show up are Meg, the mysterious blonde who Sam befriends in Scarecrow after him and Dean seemingly part ways, and Bobby Singer – who the brothers go to help after their dad is in trouble in the finale.
The episodes themselves for the most part, maintain a consistent level of quality and there is none that was so bad I wouldn’t want to re-watch it, even Route 666, which is good – as I’ve currently managed to get my family into the show, and even though this has ended up meaning that I will have to watch all of Season 1 and four episodes of Season 2 again at a decidedly slower pace than before, it’s going to allow me to perhaps rethink my views on certain episodes – and as we’ve just reached Route 666, it will be interesting to see their reactions to it indeed.
I love the way that Supernatural rarely exploits A-List horror monsters. Sure, we get ghosts and demons, but aside from that – the other major A-Lister is vampires, who are presented in a way that whilst was not quite what I was expecting, allows for a certainly interesting episode when they do show up towards the end of Season 1. Most of the time, Supernatural sticks to intriguing concepts like Reapers, (in Faith), and haunting spirits though, and it seems as though the variety does start to decrease somewhat as the series goes on, particularly given the fact that we were introduced to the under-used concepts of Wendigos in the first half of the series. However, I’m looking forward to seeing where the series can take its monster-of-the-week direction into Season 2, and the first four episodes that I’ve seen of it have certainly presented some interesting monsters. Particularly the clown episode – I was slightly amazed that it it took Supernatural, a primarily horror show, to get to its Second Season before covering something that has such great potential.
The creepiness factor and the monsters are entertaining, and the plots are certainly engaging if they can sometimes be predictable at times. There’s no obvious plot-hole error that bogged down a certain episode in the first half of the season – Bugs, for example – copped out by having daylight save Sam and Dean and the family that they were protecting far too quickly. I also enjoyed the lack of two-part episodes outside of the finale episodes, which seemed more like three episodes told as one story than a two-part episodes. If there are more two-part episodes coming to the show then I would love to see what they can do with them, but of course – if it means that the show will suffer in quality – for example, as was the case with the Daleks in Manhattan two-part episodes from Series 3 of Doctor Who, which was mostly a let-down.
Overall, the episodes of Supernatural that I’ve covered here are all very entertaining, and you’ll be enjoying a lot here if you’re even remotely interested in horror. Recommended to everyone who hasn’t seen it yet. Oh, and I know this is a review of episodes 11-22, but if anyone hasn’t watched the first episode yet, watch it. Seriously. The ending sequence, even though you may predict it to be coming and the special effects poor, it will still shock you. I’ve seen it three times and it hasn’t lost any of its shock factor.
VERDICT FOR SUPERNATURAL SEASON 1 OVERALL: 4/5
SUPERNATURAL SEASON 1 EPISODE GUIDE: S1x01: Pilot, S1x02: Wendigo, S1x03: Dead in the Water, S1x04: The Phantom Traveller, S1x05: Bloody Mary, S1x06: Skin, S1x07: Hook Man, S1x08: Bugs, S1x09: Home, S1x10: Asylum, S1x11: Scarecrow, S1x12: Faith, S1x13: Route 666, S1x14: Nightmare, S1x14: Nightmare, S1x15: The Benders, S1x16: Shadow, S1x17: Hell House, S1x18: Something Wicked, S1x19: Provenance, S1x20: Dead Man’s Blood, S1x21: Salvation, S1x22: Devil’s Trap